Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Romney Fumble

   By now, everyone is aware of all the mistakes made Romney made in staging his canned goods drive for Disaster Relief. But it gets even worse when you consider what Romney COULD have done. As a former Republican, I still look at the GOP as a potentially viable political party. But that all depends on whether they can shake their reliance on revisionist history, religious extremism and blind obstructionism (a tall order indeed). In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Republican "standard-bearer" had an opportunity to demonstrate the practical application of the Private Sector in Crisis Management...and he blew it off for a "Victory Rally" instead.
  We all know Romney has deep, Global connections in the Private Sector with deep pockets (remember that 47% event?). Hurricane Sandy provided Romney with the opportunity to put together commitments for resources, including supplies and equipment and project planners, and lay out a real PLAN for rebuilding the damaged areas on the East Coast. He could have requested a meeting with the President to discuss the plan and present the commitments. He could have pre-released the plan to the media. As a "whiz-bang, He Built That" kind of candidate, he should have gone BIG. He should have invited the President to reject the meeting (which could be justified, of course), but with the plan outline released to the media it might be more difficult for the President to just brush it off without some potential for political damage. Romney had a shot at the big time, but his true character showed through in the final analysis. The Wimp Factor is real.
   To make matters worse, Romney is back to campaigning as usual without a continued emphasis on collecting donations (preferably checks) for the Red Cross. But this is the "new" Republican Party. A party that shouts their "principles" and provides no real evidence that these principles have any practical application in the real world. The real world that exists outside of their "bubble". 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Willard Romney Says Voters Are Just Plain Dumb

   Within minutes of hearing the GOP Presidential candidate blurt out the "news" in Ohio that Chrysler was planning to move all production of Jeeps to China, I had already googled and read three separate articles from industry-specific websites with a very different interpretation of the Chrysler news. Instead of moving production, Chrysler had announced expanding production with plans to hire 1100 more American workers. In addition, the automaker has plans to return to producing Jeep vehicles in China after leaving the market in 2009.
   That's right, Chrysler is returning to China where they have manufactured vehicles in the past. I even read the cited Bloomberg report, trying to understand how Romney could misunderstand the obvious good news of the Chrysler expansion. While some recent articles have bent the truth to say the Bloomberg report was poorly worded, the more pertinent question is why Romney would make such an astounding observation without at least checking one or two other sources, like maybe Chrysler headquarters? After all, Mitt Romney claims to be a "car guy", a "Son of Detroit". Surely he has expanded his network to include US Automakers, right? But as we know, Romney has no interest in the pesky details like "the truth" or "the facts" that would undermine a perfect opportunity to send waves of panic through Union households and Small Business owners that rely on Chrysler for their livelihood. And why should Romney assume anyone would bother to fact-check?
   I make it quite clear that I'm no fan of Mitt Romney. It's not because I think he is "evil" or "heartless". I have absolutely no respect for Romney because he has absolutely no respect for anyone outside of his family. This entire narrative about Chrysler is built around the assumption that the American voter is just too dumb to know any better. He assumes that because he's built a fortune by manipulating business owners into huge long term debt loads, that he can certainly pull the wool over a simple voter's eyes. In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, a full three days after his "Big Ohio Lie" was originally fact-checked, the Romney campaign produces an ad that literally quadruples-down on his original bet. That bet he made that American voters are just plain dumb. Get out and vote for a President that "bets on the American Worker", not the guy that bets against you and your family every chance he gets.

Pop Goes America: The Real Story about Benghazi

Pop Goes America: The Real Story about Benghazi

The Real Story about Benghazi

There's a tension in the air. No, it's not the looming reality of Election Day, it's the Benghazi campaign of misinformation by the right wing.

Fox News is frustrated. While I quietly cheer our Mainstream Media (a 4th Estate that has failed America on so many other fronts and specific issues) for resisting the sensationalism of the Charles Woods story, I can't help but sense the wall of resistance is about to give way. Ty Woods was killed in Benghazi after a Libyan Militia group attacked the US Consulate. His father is understandably upset and has been vocal in his criticisms of the President, in particular. In a televised interview by phone, he described the President as insincere and uncaring, going so far as to mock his "voice" when the President offered his condolences to him. With Charles Woods, it is "personal" and that is understandable, to a degree. Watching the Hannity Show, a repeat broadcast in the dead of midnight (ratings, ya know), I was reminded of Cindy Sheehan in 2004. Ms Sheehan was certainly granted plenty of news coverage and air time. Sunday Talk Shows will certainly offer an opportunity for pundits and surrogates to raise the issue just enough to force broader coverage of Charles Woods. But the real story isn't the factual events that occurred. The real story is the manufactured narrative, the "interpretation" of a simple quote, the application of wild assumption based on assumed "experience" and the victimization of the father of an American warrior and hero that saved lives.

My hope is that we can resist the temptation to blame or attack Mr Woods. He is a grieving father and he's been prodded into action with misinformation, grooming from vested interests and a promise of some form of misguided vengeance or revenge. The blame lies squarely with Fox News, in particular Sean Hannity. The blame lies with Glenn Beck, the desperately-seeking-relevancy radio personality. The blame lies with Pat Dollard, a surprisingly effective "repeater website" that has ramped up estimated earnings from web traffic into 6 figures. The blame lies with our good friends at Conspiracy Theory Central, otherwise known as, as they shop around for another $10 million in "venture capital". They are the "story" that should be getting coverage. These are the same marketeers of conspiracy and confusion that pushed Darrell Issa into the abyss of a failed Fast and Furious investigation. These are the same money-grubbing dolts that prompted Darrell Issa to reveal our CIA locations, our Libyan operatives names and their locations to every terrorist cell in the World. The real "story" is not the incompetence or "cover-up" by government officials in Benghazi these grifters are selling. The real story is their own incompetence and mindless pursuit of manufactured conspiracy in the name of revenue...and they should be called out for it.

* Originally written on Saturday 10/27

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Big Poll Scandal

Conspiracy theory is fun, but what happens when there's a conspiracy of coincidence?

I'll keep this real short, because the focus for Democrats during this final push has to be a positive message of support for President Obama and your State Representatives. Provide examples of their leadership and the improving economy.

How did this poll "conspiracy" start? It began with the President taking the obvious leads we expected due to Romney's miserable favorability and his inability to appeal to ANY voter block other than "White male with some College". In fact, the running narrative was (and should still be) he simply can't win with such low numbers among people of color and white women. So what happened? It wasn't the first debate.

Sensing a demoralizing effect from the polls, a "movement" sprang up from the depths of the GOP. The "UnSkewed Poll" was unveiled. While I haven't bothered to investigate, it's origins can certainly be traced back to Rove or some element of the Rovian network. The unskewed poll narrative satisfied two criteria. It stopped the bleeding in "enthusiasm" and it forced the Democrats to vehemently defend the polls while mocking the "unhinged right". Voila! From this point forward, the polls are "Gospel". If you challenge the polls, you're labeled unhinged by your own words or the words of someone else. Citing "sample" numbers? The ultimate in conspiracy theory or denial of reality.

It's not exactly a conspiracy, it's a strategy. It's been an effective strategy since the pollsters have taken the sampling criticism to the bank. It's a regular free-for-all at this point when it comes to weighting, sampling and whether cell phones are included at all. Building a narrative or following a narrative is up to the individual to decide, and that individual is of course, you.

Lastly, let's keep in mind that polls are generated by "FOR PROFIT" organizations or at the very least, a revenue stream. Conspiracy is common practice in business and politics, it isn't always an "evil enterprise". We all conspire with friends at some time or another to achieve common goals. It's just the stakes are higher in some cases. Enjoy the day!

Obama/Biden 2012! Vote Dem!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Romney Rules With Romney's Rules

   Before we put the First Debate in the rearview mirror, I believe it's important to recognize just how Romney managed to put the President on his heels. In fact, you could probably accomplish the same thing if you are willing to abandon your previously stated principles. Of course, Mitt has an advantage here because he has carefully crafted a "principles-free" campaign and economic "plan".
   The Debate Strategy is simple enough. You make yourself a "moving target" with evolving or changing positions. In a "real" debate, this would require conceding some points to the opposition, but under Romney Rules it works a little differently. Under Romney Rules, the goal is not to debate ideas or visions, it's all about theater and landing "virtual blows".
   Romney has campaigned for a year on a "Tax Cut for Everyone". It was described as an "across the board" tax cut of 20% on marginal rates. Of course, the cost of this proposal has been estimated as high as $5 Trillion based on current revenue projections. But under the Romney Rules For Debate, there's no requirement to carry this policy forward into the debate, simply change the proposal in the blink of an eye! "Tax cuts? I've never proposed actual "cuts" because I'm eliminating loopholes!" I'm paraphrasing here, but that was as close Romney ever got to owning his own proposal. Suddenly, he became the Champion of the Middle Class and his new tax plan is nothing like that crazy talk the President is factually debating. There are absolutely no costs associated with the tax cut because more people will be working! While, the chicken has arrived well before the egg in this scenario, it's Romney's Rules and it's a free-for-all.
   The President appeared to be holding back the temptation to blurt out, "You lying sack of arrogant sh*t" as much as he appeared to be genuinely stunned that Romney would choose to abandon any sense of decency and mislead the American Public at such a crucial moment in history. The goal posts had shifted, the new goal was as simple as this, "Do not be drawn into a pissing match". Granted, the President was disarming the "virtual cannon", but there's always tomorrow and two more debates.
   In the meantime, let's recognize this pattern of "self-absorbed, entitled behavior". Romney doesn't abide by rules, he bends them in his favor and ONLY "his" favor.